Intellectual Property Rights

Throughout the history, the growth of the maritime industry has been driven by innovation, which has contributed to world trade and globalization. Nowadays, innovation has increasingly become a major business factor. There have never been so many R & D activities and joint development projects among maritime industry players. New solutions are being developed to build greener, safer and more energy efficient ships.

Europe’s vast network of maritime enterprises is the origin of most maritime innovations constructed around the world. Continuing and sustaining innovation is the only way to maintain the competitiveness of the European maritime industry. Intellectual property (IP) protection is the sole solution to control the technology transfer, protect the commercial interest and motivation of the property owners and therefore, sustain innovation.

Under the current market situation, IP protection concerns may be deemed as a less prior matter by many shipyards. To compete for new orders, many may opt for weaker contractual terms. CESA, however, has been trying to pass the message to the industry that IP protection has become more relevant than ever. The crisis has led to fiercer competition not only on pricing but also on rule compliance. With orders for standard ship types "dried out", the other part of the shipbuilding countries and regions is increasingly seeking to take European specialised ship orders, further elevating the importance of shielding knowledge. In addition, unavoidable restructurings and consolidations during this difficult period would result in a further change of supply chains and transfer of know-how.